Perspectives

Compiler Warnings: Use Them, Don't Trust Them

Turning On All Warnings Is Definitely a Good Thing

Most compilers provide useful warning messages that inform about circumstances that may not correspond to the intentions of the programmer. In most environments where code quality and low defect rates are important, a rule requiring the code to compile without warnings when all the compiler warnings are enabled is increasingly being enforced.

Making sure what you see is really what you have

Background

Software bugs have a long and frightening history. In just the past few years automobile manufacturers have recalled more than 1.3 million vehicles due to software problems leading to unexpected acceleration, stalling, braking issues, airbag deployment problems and vehicle stability issues. Similar cases have been found in other safety-critical industries such as medical devices.

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